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Kirchengeschichte: Alte Kirche, Christliche Archäologie


Delcor, Mathias


Religion d'Israel et Proche Orient ancien 1979


Ringgren, Helmer

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Theologische Literaturzeitung 104. Jahrgang 1979 Nr. 10


puted. The Palestinian culture in itself is said to have been provin-
cial and poor compared to the rest of the Near East. The LB II
period is to be seen as a time of oultural decline (110). As for the
following period one could perhaps add that Canaan was very much
a oultural annex of Phoenicia, at least if the eras of Solomon, Omri,
and Ahab are considered. It should be remembered that most of
Palestine - and especially those parts of the oountry where the
Israelites lived - was a "land of oorn and wine and oil" (J. W. Crow-
foot in J.W.Crowfoot, G.M.Crowfoot, Kathleen M. Kenyon, The
Objecto from Samaria, London 1957, 1); the cultural centra and
industrial areas were not located in the sparcely populated hill-

In Chapter D (121-199) it is claimed that the textual tradition of
t he Old Testament completely agrees with the archaeologioal find-
ings wh ich point to an invasion into Canaan by a new, semi-
nomadic people representing a leVel of culture lower than that of
the LB II population (121). Thus we are again told of tho beginning
of a new epoch in the history of Canaan - the Iron Age. Several
objections can be raised to this. One could, for instance, ask whe-
ther these incoming semi-nomadic tribes introduced iron in Canaan.
Should this people of a supposed lower cultural leVel have arrived
with a technical knowledge superior to that of the indigenous population
of the country? Concerning the archaeological "evidence"
for a semi-nomadic people invading Canaan, we only know of a few
areas where the settlement has been so poor that the excavators
have associated it with semi-nomads. It should be emphasized that
ai ohaeology has not yet been able to establish that the destruction
of several towns around 1250-1200 BC was due to an invasion of
semi-nomads or that these semi-nomads were the Israelites; as a
matter of fact we do not know by whom these were destroyed - the
Sea Peoples, Israelites (e.g. Hazor?), unknown Outsiders, and na-
tive Canaanite elements are all candidates. MoreoVer, without the
Old Testament we would know nothing about an Israelite invasion
of the country, and that evidence is not absolute. As for the Iron
Age, its beginning should perhaps be lowered to ca. 1100 BC. The
author maintains that the Iron Age is closely linked to the arrival
of the Philistines (122). One ought to be aware, however, that the
Philistines, "though they knew and used iron to a certain degree,
did not go very far in exploiting its capabilities" (Jane C.Waldbaum
, "Hittites, Philistines, and the Introduction of Iron in the
Lastern Mediterranean", The "Sea Peoples" and Related Events at
the End of the Bronze Age: Proceedings of the Third International
Colloquium on Aegean Prehistory, Sheffield, England, 15-19 April
1973, forthcoming). If cultural phases are to be distinguished on
the basis of the introduction of new pottery styles, one can see a
new phase beginning with the invasion of the Sea Peoples, not with
the use of iron (which only gradually superceded bronze) or with a
supposed Israelite "invasion". From a broader perspective, however
, the migrations of the 13th and 12th centuries BC in the
countries of the Eastem Mediterranean also affected Syria-Pale-
stine, causing political upheavel with the destruction of several
cities and kingdoms. It might be best, therefore, to see this period
as an intermediate between LB II and Iron I (keeping those labels
for the sake of convenience). The causes of these migrations are not
yet fully known (see, e.g., R.A. Bryson, H. H. Lamb and D. L.
Donley, "Drought and the Decline of Mycene", Antiquity 48, 1974,
46ff; F. J.Tritsch, "Tho 'Sackers of Cities' and the 'Movement of
Populations'," Bronze. Age Migrations in the Aegean, ed. R. A. Cross-
Iand and Ann Birchall, Park Ridge, N.J., 1974, 233 ff).

Concerning the time of the Israelite monarchy, this book, as
most others, does not really deal with the non-israelite other
peoples of Canaan. Did they disappear with the establishment of
the United Monarchy? Admittedly it would be hard to write their
history because they become subjects of the new kingdom(s), but
one should at least realize their existence and the consequent
composite nature of the population of the Israelite and Judean

Some other points of interest may be commented upon. The
claim that Israelite religion did not know of any female deity (137)
may be right, but only if one accepts the opinion of the so-called
Deuteronomistic historiographer and a small group of prophets
(who, it should be remembered, were not representative of the
official religion of their day). From a history of religion point of

view one can state that the Israelites and the Judeans both wor-
shipped, among others, the goddess Asherah (cf. Ahlström, Aspt
of Syncretism in Israelite Religion, Lund 1963, 57 ff; R. Patai, "The
Goddess Asherah," JNES 24, 1965, 37ff). We know, for instance,
that Asherah was worshipped in the Solomonic temple during most
of its existence. Furthermore, the Hebrew word 'eläh also meant

It should be noted that the god figurine from Hazor, area I '■■ 's
understoodas a representation "des israelitischen Gottes," illust rat -
ing such texts as Judg. 8:27. 17:1 ff, and 18: Uff (137). This seems
to be an acceptable Interpretation (cf. Orientalin Suecana 19-20.
1970-71, 54ff).

Tn discussing the architectural features of an Israelite sanctuary
the author naturally enough also refers to the Arad temple in
southern Judah. But for some reason he only mentions one of the
three masseboth found in the "Iloly of Hohes" of this sanctuary
(139). The perplexing problem of why three stelae were there has
thus been avoided. At the same time he belabors Aharoni's hypo-
thesis of Israelite border temples as if this were an historical fact
(138f). The archaeological and textual material is still toomeager
to support such an Interpretation of the site.

Although some critieisms have been raised about certain points.
this book is a good introduction to the history of andient Palestine-
Its usefulness would have been greater, however, by inclusion of an
appendix with information about the many geographic and ethnic
names which occur throughout the book and a map showing the
different Syro-Palestinian kingdoms of the Neo-Assyrian time.

Chicago G.W. Ahlstrom

Anmerkung der Redaktion: Eine dritte Autlage erschien 1979. Hierbei wurden
neuere Grabungen und wichtige neuere Literatur berücksichtigt.

Delcor, Mathias: Religion d'Israel et Proche Orient Ancien. Des

Pheniciens aux Esseniens. Ledien: Brill 1976. X, 454 S. m. Abb.,
10 Taf. gr. 8°. Lw. hfl. 96,-.

Professor Delcor hat in diesem Buch 24 Beiträge verschiedenen
Inhalts zusammengestellt. Alle Aufsätze sind früher veröffentlicht
worden (frz., dtsch., engl.), und sie werden hier in fast unveränderter
Form abgedruckt.

Aus dem Gebiet der semitischen Epigraphik kommen vier Aufsätze
, von denen zwei die etruskisch-phönizische Bilingue von
Pyrgi behandeln. Zu diesen gesellen sich zwei Artikel über Astarte.
wo u. a. die biblische Zusammenstellung &ga,r-'a&terot als Ausdruck
für den Wurf der Kühe und Schafe (Dtn 7,13) diskutiert wird. Da
dieser Ausdruck jetzt auch in der Deir-'Alla-Inschrift aufgetaucht
ist, ist die Studie von besonderem Interesse. Es schließt sich an ein
Aufsatz über den Orakelpriester selloi in Dodona, deren Name der
Vf. von iä'üu, Orakelbefrager, herleitet.

Hebräische Lexikographie wird in zwei Aufsätzen behandelt.
Der eine ist ein Vortrag, gehalten am alttestamentlichen Kongreß
in Uppsala 1971 über die Bedeutung der Homonymie für die Interpretation
alttestamentlicher Texte; er enthält mehrere interessante
Beobachtungen mit anschließenden prinzipiellen Ausführungen.
Der andere behandelt zwei Sonderbedeutungen des hebr. Wortes
jäd, „Denkmal" und membrum virile.

Zum Gebiet der Textkritik gehören zwei Aufsätze. Der eine behandelt
den hebräischen Text von Sir 51,13ff und weist nach, daß
der Text der Kairohandschrift eine Rückübersetzung aus dem
Syrischen ist, während der neugefundene Qumrantext eine hebräische
Originalfassung bietet. In dem anderen Aufsatz wird der Hiob-
Targum aus Qumran und das Aramäische der Zeit Jesu diskutiert .

Die nächste Gruppe behandelt pseudepigraphische Probleme.
Das Verhältnis zwischen dem Testament Hiobs, dem qumranischen
Gebet Nabonids und der targumischen Tradition wird erörtert, der
Niederschlag einiger Motive in der Himmelfahrt Jesajas in einer
katharischen Predigt aus dem 14. Jh. wird nachgewiesen, der Ursprung
einiger Motive im Testament Abrahams wird diskutiert,
und der historische Hintergrund des Buches Judith (Antioohos
Epiphanes) wird behandelt.

Dann kommen fünf Aufsätze über qumranische Themen. Hier
findet sich eine Studie über das Bundesfest in Qumran und das